Class #839

Short and Effective Mat

35 min - Class


Drawing from the sentiments of Joseph Pilates writings, Pat Guyton addresses the natural tendency for many of us to live in a state of agitation and designs a short, effective class that reminds us to stop trying so hard when we do Pilates, and have a little fun instead.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Good afternoon ladies. Okay. And so we were supposed to learn to do our mat work. Uh, Joe wanted us to do at how many times a week? Probably every day, but at least five times a week. Have you ever had a day where you just started going and you have someplace to go? Right? And you just know you should do your mat work or something and you just don't have time. Anybody ever get that feeling like you just got the dress back from the dry cleaners? You have to be to the theater opening, goodness, your, your black shoes. You need to buff them up a little bit. Um, the dog needs walks. Uh, you're, you have to make this phone call.

Your husband's not home yet or is anybody starting to feel anxious? Right? And you look at the clock and you've got an hour and 15 minutes and you know that you need to dress and oh gosh, I don't have time to do the mat work. So what I want you to do is just run around in a little circle and be that person. And as you're running around, what's happening is you're in your sympathetic nervous system and you're very agitated and nothing is really going right. And no matter what you do, everything is going wrong. And suddenly you just say, you know what, I'm going to take 30 minutes for me and I'm going to call myself down. So the sympathetic nervous system is fight or flight.

And I often say to people that it's, we're living in that system now. So when you drove here, other cars are, you know that the Predator, they're going to run you down the mortgage payment. Oh my goodness. You know, the economy, all these things. So we're constantly agitated. And then, you know, even when we're going to something like a theater opening, it's not like, oh my goodness, you know, I don't have enough time. I can't get everything done and I'm not taking care of me. And then we may even do our exercise in a frenzied way. I'm Mary Bellin had said at one of the, uh, I was body, mind, spirit. She said, let's stop doing our best.

Let's just stop trying so hard. Let's do our second best. So today when we do this, we're going to have fun and we're going to relax. And the number one way to relax is to breathe. And on page 41 I looked it up. It's not that I have the book memorized, but on page 41 there is one paragraph of one sentence that says the first lesson should be breathing. So we're going to imagine that each compartment of our body is a balloon.

So the first two balloons would be our lungs. Yes. So if we took a deep breath in, that's her lungs. Good. Everybody can imagine that. Take your next breath in and imagine just your upper arm is a balloon. Maybe you even feel like your arms are kind of starting to float.

Add balloons to your lower compartment of your arm. If you're really vivid images, you may have one for your radius and all. Now I'm just going to have one balloon, my five fingers or balloons and everything. This is an upper balloon, a lower balloon. So we get the idea. Now when we start to breathe, we get into what's called the parasympathetic nervous system. It's where you can relax. It's the number one medication that everybody probably needs in this world today. And so when we relax, we rest, we heal and we stopped trying so hard and we have fun.

So let's go down to our math and I'm even going to breathe and relax and go ahead and lay down and bring your feet close to your sit bones. And then for a moment, I want you to take a deep breath in and imagine the two balloons of your lungs. Inhale. And then exhale. You might want to think of these as sponges as you inhale the two sponges, fill up with air, maybe the holes of the sponger your Alveoli, and exhale and ring the sponge out. And Joe talked about wringing out the air and another deep breath in because you see we have time to breathe. Before we start to move from here, we're going to do a little plop to organize her pelvis. So I've talked about the plot before and I know Amy's taught the plop.

It's just a little thing we do. It's nice and easy to work the pelvis and plop. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. As you plop on the floor, you can feel the place where your pelvis hits the floor. It's like somebody tapping and part of your body. It helps you center. And again, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Good. And now we're gonna do the hundred.

Bring your legs up into the tabletop position. Remember that you can choose to straighten your legs or lengthen your legs as you choose throughout the exercise. So lift your head, neck and shoulders. Good. Reach out. And we're going to start with two breaths in and two breaths out. And then we're going to go to three. And then we're going to go to four.

And I don't know whether we're going to do 80 or 120 but we're just going to enjoy breathing. So in Hale X, hail infill Hale for two, exhale for two, inhale for two, and exhale for two. Feel the breath in your lungs. Imagine they are balloons one to one and three and inhale to three and exhale to three and inhale to three and exhale two, three. Inhale, two, three and now we go to four and hail three, four in exhale, three, four. Feel the air going in and feel the air going out. One, two, three, four and one two now and five in Hale, three four, five x Ale, three, four, five and the focus of the five is a deep, deep breathing for five and last one three, four, five and lengthen the legs all the way to the floor. Imagine their balloons and let them float all the way down.

Take your arms up over your head and lay them on the floor. If you can take a deep breath in and exhale, yes, we are allowed to breathe in between exercises and take a deep breath in and exhale, doing your own choreography. I'd like to roll up on one full breath and inhale and the next sale and then down on an inhale and exhale, feeling the breath and inhale up and exhale as you reach forward as you roll down. Inhale and then roll all the way down. And again, one more. Inhale and rolling up. Good. And uh, rolling back down. Inhale.

Good. And exhale. Now just for a moment, take an inhale, fill up your lungs and imagine that as an air mattress and you're out camping and there rocks on the ground. So wouldn't you fill up your an air mattress. And then when you come up and you want to roll up your album air mattress because you're hiking to the next camp site, you would exhale. So let's see if you can now take an inhale now exhale and roll up your mat. Exhale up, roll up your mat as you go down.

Inhale, fill it up and lay down on your air mattress. And one more exhale as you roll your mat up. Very nice. And inhale as you roll down and bring your arms down to your side, lift your right leg up. And for a moment, just imagine that this is a balloon. So we have maybe the thigh balloon, maybe the calf balloon.

Some of you may have little toe balloons. And what we're going to do is we're going to go across around and lift five times. But what we're going to do is, as you inhale, imagine filling up the balloons and then letting the air out. So it'll be inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. And one more. Inhale. And let's reverse. Inhale. Exhale, fill the balloons, empty them, fill them, empty them, fill them, empty them, and fill them and empty them. Very nice. Now your right legs up or however you want to.

Um, it may be your left leg. What I'd like you to do is we're gonna do a transition to the left leg, but we're going to do it with a bicycle. So I'm going to inhale to extend my leg and then exhale to feel the length here. Inhale, exhale. [inaudible] can you really make the leg extend? Because the air goes in.

Notice the exhale just gives you that little bit of finish without actually working on finish. And one more and hold. And we should be on the opposite leg for leg circles. Yes. Oh, how fortunate for me. And inhale a cross. Exhale up and two. And Ah, and three and a four and up. Fill the balloons, empty them, reverse out and ah, out and ah, out and Ah, feel it to your toes, feel it into the floor and then lower the leg down. Very nice.

And bring your arms up and roll all the way up into rolling back and the legs come in. Before we go back, remember we're going to relax ourselves. Let's take an extra little breath, inhale and allow the air to go into the back, which it actually does and atomically the air goes back there and then exhale. And then inhale, imagine filling up your back so that as you roll back, you actually have a nice little air cushion to roll back on. So here we go. Inhale back and exhale and come up and inhale back and exhale up. Don't worry about the floor. You have an air mattress. Inhale back and exhale up and inhale back and all the way up. Very nice. And from this position, we're going to now lower ourselves down into the single light stretch.

I'm going to focus on really filling the air up in the leg. That's out. So I have a balloon. I'm going to go all the way out to my toes this time. So I'm going to inhale and exhale at the top. The top is my, my exhales. A little extra stretch. Inhale, exhale. Inhale. The balloons. Lengthen out the balloons. Send your leg out. Feel the length getting longer. You can have balloons as they fill up over time, they get a little longer.

And the last one good. And bring both legs. And when we do this, we're going to think of balloons and our fingers and balloons and her toes. We're going to go out and inhale. Just take a moment, feel that, and exhale all the air out. Inhale, feel it. Exhale. If you can wiggle your fingers and toes and joy it. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, and come in and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, giggle equal. I love it. Some people can wiggle their toes and come all the way in. And from here, let's lengthen the right leg. Straight up. We're going to do the scissors just like we did the stretches.

So take an inhale, fill the top leg up, and then exhale as you change, fill in, inhale, change. Exhale, fill it up, inhale and inhale. So as I do this, I'm thinking [inaudible] all the way out to my toes and also all the way breath, going all the way into the ground and inhale, good and exhale and inhale and inhale. And then let the legs come down. Take a breath in, straighten your legs out onto the mat. Sometimes I like to roll up with my legs already open.

So open your legs mat with preparing for spine stretch and then roll all the way up. So we're sitting up straight and the breath I'd like to use just for today is I'm going to take an inhale and feel all the balloons, my lower balloon and my torso, my upper balloon, my neck balloon, my head balloon. Inhale. And then I'm going to exhale. Let the air come out as I round forward. Now I'm going, imagine my balloons in reverse, my lower balloon and my torso. And then the balloon in my chest, my neck balloon in my head, balloon inhale, and then exhale and reach for a word. And Inhale, let me see the breath, bring you up and then rig it all out.

Think of Mr [inaudible]. He would want you to ring that out and all the way up and all the way forward and then come up to vertical. And yes we do have a clock to pay attention to. So we're going to just stay in this open position and we're going to do the Saul. And what I'd like to do with the saw is add something a little something that Lolita San Miguel talked about. She was working, we had a little conference sort of in a corner and she said to any of you feel like when your little finger is up, your shoulder rolls forward.

So it's thumbs up. We're going to do thumbs up just to open our shoulder. So from here we're going to have an inhale and thumbs up to three. Inhale and thumbs up to three. Inhale and thumbs up to now feel the inhale, bring you up as your balloons.

Turn you to the other side and you let the air out your fingertips. Inhale and exhale two, three, and inhale. And the last one, one, two, three. And then let's all face a LE. Let's lay prone facing each other. And we're going to come up and do the single leg kick. So place your hands in the position that you're most familiar with.

Either palms down, make a fist, and from here just lift up and fill the balloon in your chest. Okay, so that balloon is going to stay up. So you're going to take an inhale and you're going to be the and down and beat B and down. And okay, as you beat, fill up your chest, balloon one, two, and down. If you have pretty feet, use them. If you don't use your beautiful air balloon and one, two and down, and then slowly roll down. If you've given yourself a nice air balloon, then you have something to rest your chest upon.

Take your around the back for the double, like kick in this position. Take an inhale and exhale with the leg beats. And exhale two, three, fill your chest up. That balloon contains your heart and down. And one, two, three fill your heart, balloon up and one, two, three and reach up and one, two, three. And reach up and bring your hands to the front and then press back up into arrest, pose and round all the way over.

And take a deep breath in and just go back to the lungs for a moment and think about that. Can you breathe for it? From your lungs all the way down into your sit bones and connect that and release and come into shoulder bridge position. So in shoulder bridge we're going to bring our legs together this time and we're going to lift up and down and up and down. Now as I lift up, I'm imagining imagining the lower balloon is filled with so much air because that's what really happens. Diaphragm drops down and I'm going to use that balloon to hold my pelvis up as I lift my leg up. I'm going to inhale and then exhale out my toes and inhale down.

Exhale out my toes. Inhale down, exhale out my toes. Inhale down and out my toes. Put the foot down on the ground, and then just press your back back into the floor, reorganized yourself. Fill up your lower balloon, lift all the way up. Go ahead and extend your other leg straight up into the ceiling and inhale, fill that leg up. Now empty the leg out as you come up.

And inhale lower it and lift up and lower and lift up and lower it and lift up and put your foot down and roll all the way down. Straighten your legs and roll up for spine. Twist on the saw. We did an inhale to turn an exhale to three. So what we're going to do here is inhale and then we're going to turn one, two, three, exhale. And then imagine that as we come back to the center, the balloons fill up so much that we rebound back the dissenter and ex hale three in hail and X. Hale three.

Feel like you're going to float up out of the floor and inhale and inhale. Exhale, two, three and good and come all the way back down. Face me for the side legs, the leg kicks we have to do because that dress we're going to wear is split up the side. Okay, so we're going to get in our regular position. I'd like to have the arm on the floor because I think it's a good neck position and if you want to you can have your hand behind your neck or you can put it on the mat or you can change it at any point. So as I come forward, I feeling like I'm inhaling my leg exhaling back and and I only have to do four if I do them well. And then back to here. Now I'm going to lift my leg as if it's a balloon. And when I do it this way I almost feel like I need to pause cause I don't, I want to feel an experience that buoyancy and down down.

Now this is a little addition that pat has because I feel like we need flection, extension, abduction, abduction and I've been looking for a good internal external rotation. So knee down, toe down. They liked this in Mexico City. [inaudible] and since I'm going to wear that nice dress, I'm doing just a few more of these because I can really feel it. And one more and down and all the way out.

Didn't do the Chris Cross better do something for that. So you might want to watch me do this. [inaudible] Oh, kill it. Leg Twist, full breath. Extend your leg back.

Full breath to bring you thoracics following your sternum to the ceiling, collect everything and put it down the leg and the twist. Full breath for leg back, full breath for sternum up. Collect everything and down. Now we'll do one more of those. I usually do to just three of these and down. Inhale, exhale back. Sternum goes up. All that feels wonderful.

I want to stay there for a moment and back and down and come all the way up. And let's go to the other side. And [inaudible] you could actually be thinking of your chest balloon here and oh, balloons up and down. I'm actually feeling like my chest lifts my leg that it fills with air. And, and one more and down. Good.

Now the twister and lift up and twist. Full breath. Take your leg back, full breath, sternum to ceiling. Collect everything. Lift a little more and down. Use your breath to do this down. That's why I'm giving you a full breath through your leg.

A full breath to rotate. Inhale. Exhale. One more up and rotate. Full breath. Really expand that leg and really expand the chest.

Come all the way back together and then, and then roll over onto your back. And we're going to come to a modified teaser position. So I always start with the modified. I'm nice to myself, you know, I don't have to just be doing it hard all the time, so I'm just gonna roll down. I can even use my hands here and curl all the way up and I'm going to do two of those. And if I feel like that's enough, fine. Otherwise I'm going to straighten my leg and rural all the way down and roll all the way up and all the way down.

And now I may do one of those full out teasers all the way back. They really don't take much time and all the way back and all the way up and into my seal. And with the three claps and rolling back, one, two, three up. Now hold just for a minute. Is your roll back. Inhale, you have an air mattress back there, remember and back and one, two, three, yeah. One, two, three. Back. One, two, three, up. One, two, three. Back, one, two, three, up and whole bring your feet down and come around and do the rest pose with the heads facing in just so we can all see what we're all doing. And we're going to take a moment, take a deep breath. And again, you take a deep breath in. I'd like you to fill the, the balloon in your neck and then exhale. Okay, that really looked good to me. As soon as I said balloons in the neck. Now fill the balloons in your chest and add it to your neck and then fill another balloon in your, at your chest and your lower back, all the way to your tailbone, all the way through the top of your neck. And one more breath.

And down and then come all the way up into a plank position. Good. And so let's do like pull two sets and lift and he'll heal and then and lift, heal, heal, and hold for a minute. As you do this, can you imagine as you come front, your breath is pulling you front and lift up and pull yourself forward and put your heel down and lift up. We have different choreographies here, I don't mind, but as you're back, use the air to pull you up and put your foot down. Now up stretch. Inhale, fill up. Walk your hands all the way back. Walk back. One, two, three, four. From here, imagine your toes or balloons. Inhale, feel your toes.

Inhale, feel your ankles as you start to roll up. Inhale, feel your calves and continue rolling up. Inhale, thighs. Inhale, fill up your pelvis. Inhale, fill up your chest, but let your arms hang. Inhale, fill up your shoulders and let the balloons fill as they go down to the floor. Take another breath and fill the lower arm. Another breath.

Feel the fingertips. Oh my goodness. I'm looking at some of you, you look so gorgeous. Inhale, lengthen your neck. There's a balloon all the way inside of you. Exhale on the next breath, see if you can take it all the way up and imagine your head is a balloon going through the ceiling and exhale, put out your right hand. Take your left hand. Now, there is no right or wrong way to do this, but we're just going to give ourselves, we've relaxed ourselves a little bit cap and I want to get all sides of my arms. We do this in Eric Franklin's classes and I like to get up into my neck. Oh, that feels really good. And then I just [inaudible] clean it off. There we go. Anything that I don't want there anymore?

And then just notice how does your right arm feel? Does anybody have a comment? How does your right arm feel? Wendy feels long, longer, longer, and warmer. Should we just go off to the party like this? No. Okay. Or should we finish the job? Oh, okay. Here we go. This is something you could do before class if you're just really feeling like, oh, I'm just a slug. I got out of bed and I just don't want to do class. Wake yourself up.

Be Nice to your body and then brush it. Gosh. And now I've calmed down my nervous system. I think I'm going to tap my digestive system and I'm going to go up on the ride across, down on the left. Why am I doing it in that direction and not the reverse direction? Yeah, yeah. That's how it goes. So I'm helping it out. They're good. And now I'm going to go down the front of my legs.

You can bend your knees so we don't have to worry about our lower back. And by the way, we did all that nice toe filling. So let's do our toes and then let's go up the outside of our legs. Woo. And down the inside of our legs.

Don't forget your ankles and then up the back of your legs. And then when I get into my back, it just feels so good. Make your favorite noise, uh, coming all the way up. Little bit of tapping on your neck nickname. Think tank a little bit on your jaw. You're going to be talking to people you know and you want to make sure that what you say is very nice.

Leave a good impression all the way up to the top of your head. Good. And maybe a little later, Paul, and one more last breath in. Exhale. Ahhh. Good News. I only did that in 30 minutes and I'm ready to go. Thanks. I'm hearing.


1 person likes this.
Totally needed this class this morning :)
Thanks Pat!
1 person likes this.
This was a great class Pat. Totally calmed me down. Thanks!
2 people like this.
Wonderful class Pat. This was exactly something that I needed.
I'm handling the day better, and overall my body feels more in balance. Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Thank you for your comments. I am pleased when clients come in to the studio in a frazzle and can leave feeling physically good and calm.
3 people like this.
oh my gosh, that felt wonderful! thank you!!!! a new favourite.
2 people like this.
Thank you!
3 people like this.
I agree with all comments.....wonderful and refreshing! As I added the Franklin tappings at the end my dogs got so excited with me as they thought it was a game for them too!
2 people like this.
So interesting....thank you. Enjoyed several bits of this session. Plan to share in my sessions....ESP bicycling btwn leg circles, thumbs up on saw, teaser progression, and Franklin tap & swipe at the end! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Thanks Jennifer! Please do share in your sessions. Pilates Anytime is a forum to help our community maintain quality and vitality... a zest for teaching!
Lovely! Wonderful to focus on the breathing, always appreciate the Franklin method too.
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